At his presidency press conference that ended this week, Theo Epstein revealed a few moments when incoming president Jed Hoyer nailed a transaction decision.
When the kids were in negotiations to acquire Jake Arrieta after hype rightly from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman deal, it was Hoyer who insisted that the kids could also push for a throw-in relief, and that arm should be Pedro Strop despite his recent deep struggle. And when the Red Sox and Padres talked about Adrian Gonzalez, Hoyer – then Padres GM – would not make the deal with Lars Anderson included instead of Anthony Rizzo.
Sahadev Sharma shares another transactional moment behind the scenes from Hoyer̵
Hoyer recently struggled when the Cubs traded for José Quintana. He obviously understood the need to add controllable pitching to the Cubs’ starting lineup and appreciated that Quintana could fill that need. However, his evaluation of Eloy Jiménez was high enough that he had a significant break in completing the deal. Had Hoyer had the last word, who knows how things might have been different. ”
Who actually knows.
That does not mean that Hoyer absolutely would not have made the deal, or that things – on such an alternative timeline – would not have turned out differently. When this trade comes up, I feel it is important to point out that Quintana was critical in the stretch for the Cubs in 2017 (a team that reached the NLCS), and his contract was part of the reason the Cubs could then afford to sign Yu Darvish. Moreover, Dylan Cease has not yet established itself and it’s still early on Jimenez (especially when you factor in defense).
Howeva … I was also very high on Jimenez’s bats as a vantage point, and I would be lying if I did not say that it comforts me a little to hear that Hoyer was not super at the thought of trading him away. Things are not changing now, but it’s a mild credit to Hoyer’s perspective.